Canadians Miss Family, Friends and Travel Most During COVID-19

More than three-in-five Canadians are paying attention to the news more often than they did before the outbreak.

Vancouver, BC [April 3, 2020] – As Canadians remain mostly confined to their homes on account of the COVID-19 outbreak, more than two-in-five are finding it challenging to relinquish personal contact with family and friends, a new Research Co. poll has found.  

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 45% of Canadians say it has been hard to give up seeing family members in person during the outbreak.  

A similar proportion of Canadians (44%) say it has been difficult to give up seeing friends in person, while 41% find it hard to not be able to travel.  

“Albertans are more likely to say that being away from family members during the COVID-19 outbreak has been difficult (49%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “More than half of British Columbians (53%) feel the same way about being away from friends.”  

More than a third of Canadians say it has been hard to abandon dining out in restaurants (38%) and being able to attend entertainment events, such as concerts, plays or movies (36%).  

A smaller proportion of Canadians (32%) say it has been difficult to be without live sports—a proportion that rises to 41% among Canadian men.  

Just over half of Canadians with children aged 14 or younger  (51%) say it has been easy having their kids at home all day on account of the COVID-19 outbreak, while 44% say the experience has been difficult.  

When asked about specific activities, more than three-in-five Canadians (61%) say they are following the news—either reading, listening to or watching—more often than they did a few weeks ago.  

More than a third of Canadians say they are participating more regularly in entertainment activities that involve electronics (such as tablets, smartphones or video game consoles) (41%), streaming content online (such as movies or television shows) (40%) and communicating with relatives (36%).  

Slightly smaller proportions of Canadians are exercising at home (30%), reading books (27%), participating in entertainment activities that do not involve electronics (such as board games or puzzles) (20%), ordering food in (14%) and exercising outside their home (10%) more often than before.  

One-in-four Canadians who profess a religion (25%) say they are praying more regularly now than they did before, including 29% of women and 36% of those aged 18-to-34.


Results are based on an online study conducted from March 21 to March 22, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.